Our Observations…

20 Jun
Frequently we spot singular cultural differences that are striking.  We decided to list these random trends in a series of posts called “Our Observations…”
Here is the first entry About People.


MAN BAGS

Two-toned bag with tatoos

Many men carry purses “bags” here. Dana had one that he wore when we lived in Ithaca, NY in the late 1980’s when it was a metrosexual fad. He took a lot of snide comments from other guys about the bag.
          We have read that the trend started in Italy when a famous Italian soccer player sported one.
          Sicilian women don’t carry small over the shoulder bags. They carry huge purses.

No age limits for man bags

COLORFUL  PANTS

Sicilian men wear very brightly colored pants. We have seen orange, yellow, red, green and pink. These are not pastels. These are solid dazzling colors. When we asked a Sicilian friend about it she said, “Here it is the men who are the peacocks.”

YOUNG AND OLD ARM-IN-ARM

Frequently we see younger people walking arm in arm with older people.  It looks to us like parents with children or grandchildren. Sometimes the children are quite young yet there seems to be some link of camradery in all of the relationships. 

Someone to lean on 

BIMBO A BORDO

Remember these signs? It seems much cuter if the baby is a bimbo.

Baby on Board


OLD MEN WALKING

When most older men walk down the street they walk with their hands clasped  behind their back toes pointed out and verrrry slooooowly. Try it.  More meandering than walking and it is very relaxing.

WASH ON THE LINE

There are no clothes dryers in Sicily. Well, we think there are no clothes dryers in Sicily. Balconies, clothes drying racks on the sidewalks, clothes lines strung across narrow streets are festooned with clean laundry.

Clothes on the line


Women take great pride in the brilliance of their wash and its tidy organization on the line, even when living in a high rise and using the balcony railing.

Balcony clothes lines

Are you curious about how things work in the Sicilian culture? Send in a comment with your query.  We will research the point, try to find a photo to illustrate the observation and post it here.

6 Responses to “Our Observations…”

  1. runningfam June 22, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Were they watching “football” on every tv for the latest world cup?

    • Jill June 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      I don’t know. We didn’t see or hear a word about it. We did listen to a soccer match announced in Arabic just below our house.

  2. Ursula Freer June 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    I am enjoying your wonderful reports from Sicily. Just to let you know what I have been up to while you are away. This youtube video will take you to the opening reception of the art exhibit I am in with some of my artist friends in the Exhibit Space at La Tienda:

    • Jill June 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

      Congratulations on the show Ursula. You are the first person who has sent us a video. It will be interesting to see how it displays. Jill

  3. Maryl June 20, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Great observations. I always found the cultural differences to be fascinating. Sometimes they are subtle but most times you can pick out an American just from the way they dress, walk etc. when compared to the “natives”. I remember in Spain, the trend among women was to wear neck scarves. Do you see any dress trends (shoes vs sandals; skirts vs pants; dressy vs casual; etc) for women in Sicily. With only 3 days to go you may not have much time to research. BTW…I see that you have a YouTube ad on this posting. Can you see it?

    • Jill June 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      We can’t see the YouTube ad. How annoying. We have a SPAM filter. Guess it doesn’t block this.

      Women here wear scarves here too. I have two and, until it got hot, I wore them a lot. Women’s shoes are unbelievable. Lots of platforms and strappy little leather things. This is not about being comfortable.But I must say they do look feminine. In general the quality is much higher than middle market American shoes. I have yet to see a Sicilian woman or girl in shorts of any kind. They wear skin tight jeans with sparkly tops or sundresses. The younger women wear mini skirts. All of the women wear tank tops. One of the ways you can tell a tourist is big sneakers (especially white), shorts or three-quarter length cargo pants.

      Actually we put the contest deadline into the countdown box until Saturday. As of today we have 10 days left to our arrival in South Africa.

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